These apple pie bars are the epitome of autumn in a dessert. Shortbread crust, fresh apple filling, streusel, and dulce de leche (aka caramel, but just better) come together to make a seriously rich and delicious treat. So, grab a coffee, warm one of these bars up (or enjoy it cold!) and bask in the crisp, Fall air.
Caramel Apple Streusel Bars [Vegan]
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons, plus 2 teaspoons cane sugar, divided
- A pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup cold vegan butter, chopped
- 1/3 cup ice water
For the Filling:
For the Crumb Topping:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/3 cup coconut or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cold vegan butter, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dulce de leche, warmed
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch pan.
- In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients and mix with hands or a fork until just combined.
- Press crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegan butter over low heat and add diced apples, tossing to coat evenly. Cook down for 5-10 minutes, until apples are soft. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup dulce de leche.
- Pour mixture over baked crust.
- In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1/3 cup coconut sugar, and 1/4 cup cold butter with a fork or hands until just combined.
- Spread crumb topping over apple filling in pan. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until crumb is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Drizzle with warmed dulce de leche before serving.